Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov thinks that the issue of the non-participation of the Baltic countries in the CFE treaty must be resolved before NATO enlarges eastward. Replying on Friday on the question on the admission of new member to NATO at the Prague summit, Sergei Ivanov noted that Russia views NATO enlargement as a mistake.
In his opinion, "NATO itself is going through the evolution process as the organisation is defining its new role, looking for opportunities to repel actual, not mystical threats." The minister said that the CFE treaty is "an integral part of stability, tranquillity, flank restrictions on this or that territory." NATO understands that "this problem must be resolved in the interests of the European security, above all in North-Western Europe, in the Baltics." If it is decided to admit the Baltic countries to NATO at the Prague summit, then Russia will be concerned with "a rather specific aspect", i.e. the Baltic countries have not signed the CFE Treaty. That's why the issue must be resolved as soon as possible, Sergei Ivanov thinks.